December 7, 2012
BEST ON THE LEFT
Soccer America picks 'steady' Pearce on defense
He might not have played there on a regular basis until late in the season, but Soccer America certainly liked what it had seen in Red Bulls defender Heath Pearce.
|Heath Pearce "soldiered on gallantly for both New York and Chivas USA," Soccer America said.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
In fact, Soccer America selected Pearce as the best left back in Major League Soccer this past season.
"There was a lot more blame than praise thrown toward the Red Bulls this season; though they fizzled down the stretch and stumbled in the [Eastern] Conference semifinals, Heath Pearce soldiered on gallantly for both New York and Chivas USA, which sent him east in May," Soccer America senior editor Ridge Mahoney wrote. "He played in central defense as well as midfield before settling at left back and though he's not the attacking equal of a few counterparts he's probably the better soccer player."
Mahoney noted that Heath was "very expensive [$299,492] for a U.S. defender, and Chivas USA paid part of his salary last year, so moves are forthcoming if NYRB wants to keep him."
Sporting Kansas City's Seth Sinovic was second and the San Jose Earthquakes' Justin Morrow third.
Two players with local ties also made Soccer America's -- former Red Bull and current LA Galaxy Todd Dunivant took fourth place and former St. John's standout and 2003 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy winner Chris Wingert of Real Salt Lake was fifth.
"Todd Dunivant scrapped through a rough start, as did his teammates, then played a string of very solid games all the way to MLS Cup 2012," Mahoney wrote. "Chris Wingert kept his place in the top tier of MLS left backs in a frustrating season for RSL."
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